Friday, February 27, 2009

Mews Update on Buster

DAPHY, BUSTER & CLEO (Kittens in 1994)

Well, we had him back on Tuesday to have his 23 staples removed. His incision was a long one! The biopsies had come back...not good. Both were carcinomas, each a different type. So the growth on the liver and also the lymph node that is wrapped around the blood suppy to his intestines were both malignant, which we suspected, anyhow.

This morning he was started on a different type of chemo, and the GOOD news is that this type will not make him sick at all! He won't even need meds this time. Last time they gave him appetite pills and another type of med, as he had just one day each time that he wouldn't feel well. After they gave us that second med to give to him, you'd never even have known he was taking chemo...he was just like he always was. This will be better for him getting it on Fridays, as my daughter will be home with him on weekends, and he can sleep in the crate and then she can keep him on a leash during the day. He and Sweet Pea can't share a litterbox for 48 hours after he has received the chemo...seems it is excreted through his stool and urine, so Sweet Pea can't be exposed to it. And we must wear rubber gloves when we scoop his box, etc. So he can be a free man again on Sunday at noon each time he gets a treatment. Before, we kept him in her bonus room by himself, and that had to be lonely for him. But I always went over every day to feed him and keep him company every afternoon for a couple of hours.
They are very optimistic with this type of chemo, stating that they are hoping instead of 3-6 months prognosis, that he will have 6-12 months, and the oncologist said they are hoping for 12 months! Like my daughter said, he isn't ready to put to sleep'd never know he has cancer at all to see and watch him. He's just like a normal cat. He loves to cuddle, he loves to play, he LOVES to eat...just like a healthy cat. So she decided to go ahead with the chemo again. He will get a treatment every 3 weeks, with a total of 5 treatments altogether. He got 8 more months of life this last time, so we are optimistic this time for him, also. He's such a sweetie! I have been going every afternoon to let him out of the crate and feed him and love on him, plus we walk on a leash around the house. But since Tuesday, they said his incision looked great and was healed, so he no longer had to be crated! So he's been a free man since Tuesday! We are looking forward to having him a while longer. But rest assured, when he starts showing signs of not doing well, we will do the right thing by him, but for now we are going to love him all we can!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Latest Update on Buster

Please be sure to read my personal comment on the comment page....
Wednesday, February 18, 2009...Buster is home and all settled in! He was one happy little man to get home. He went right in the crate with no trouble and spent the afternoon eating and looking around and watching me snooze on my daughter's sofa. He seems very content and is in much better shape this surgery than the last one. He is on pain med every 8 hours for just 5 days and will have his 23 staples removed next Tuesday. We know his days are numbered this time, but then aren't ours numbered, too? We are just happy to have him back again, regardless of how short or how long he has. The chemo is actually easier on an animal than a person. Cats tolerate it very well. The last time he only had one day after each treatment that he didn't feel well, and the last couple of treatments, they gave him 2 different meds, and that eliminated even that one day of not feeling well. He ate like he always did and even played. I'm not sure yet what my daughter has decided to do regarding the chemo this time around. One girl who works at this specialists' place has a dog who was receiving chemo, but then it had to be stopped as his liver values went up. But his tumor has stopped growing so he is in remission the past 2 or 3 months. So chemo is worth a try, anyhow. If it affected the cat like it does people, we would never do it at all, but it doesn't. They really do very well with it. He is comfortable in the crate and has a pillow to sleep on...all the comforts of home. He was very unhappy at the vet's as there was a dog that barked all the time, and he had never heard a dog's bark before. He was growling when they brought him out to us. My daughter said the only time she has ever heard him growl was when he saw a strange cat in 'his' yard through the window.

Greenville, SC

Tuesday, February 17, 2009...Just a quick update on Buster. He came through the surgery quite well yesterday, but the news wasn't good. The growth that was thought to be in the small intestines turned out to actually be an enlarged lymph node. It could not be removed due to the fact that it was wrapped around the main blood supply to the intestines. To remove it would have meant instant death for him. He has 3-6 months to live with chemo. Without chemo, it would be just weeks. Since the last couple of chemo treatments never bothered him at all, (they gave him meds so he wouldn't get sick from it), he will again receive chemo therapy but not until the staples are removed and his incision is healed.

I received a call at 8 this morning from the surgeon, Dr. Jevens, who said Buster was making himself well heard this morning and could come home! Naturally, we were delighted to hear that he didn't have to stay any longer. Dr. Jevens' assistant also phoned me to set up a pickup time and said that Buster is quite feisty this morning. That is so unusual for him as he's such a quiet, loving little guy. He just wants to get out of there and get back to his own home. Animals know, don't they? Tammy has his crate all prepared for him in her living room, as he has to be confined for the next 7-10 days (no jumping) until his incision heals. She will let him out at night when she's home and walk him on a leash like she did the last time. He will be on pain meds for awhile, and I will be running back and forth to check on him, so he won't be alone all day while she's at work.

I just wish I had better news to tell you all. All we can do now is to love him all we can and then let him go with dignity when his time comes.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Upcoming Surgery for Buster

" Sweet Pea" and "Buster"

Just a quick update on my daughter's cats. We had them to Greenville last Thursday for their check-ups. These are done every 2 months to keep an eye on the cancer, should it re-occur.

Sweet Pea had a good report, thank goodness! We were told that they have had cats with her type of cancer (fibrosarcoma) in remission for up to 3 years. So right now, things look pretty rosy for her!

Buster, on the other hand, had lost another .4 pound. He has been losing weight quite steadily, losing quite a bit last June when he was first diagnosed with lymphoma cancer. He is now just under 11 pounds, down from 24 pounds before any of this cancer trouble ever started last June. We knew he had some abnormal kidney values, so we thought maybe this was the cause of his weight loss. The oncologist suggested that he have another ultrasound now instead of waiting for the one scheduled in April. So he had another abdominal ultrasound this morning. It showed that there is a small growth about 1/2 inch in diameter in his small intestines. It also showed one kidney was dilated, so some urine was drawn from his bladder to be checked in case he could also have a kidney infection. His chest x-ray was normal, so no cancer there. After consultation with the oncologist, we decided to go ahead with surgery next Monday. His last ultrasound in November showed everything was okay. Thank goodness, my daughter had the ultrasound done now instead of in April! Buster seems to feel well and is eating like a little piglet. He plays with his toys and acts perfectly normal. He just looks thin in the face, plus now he looks even worse after having his tummy and sides shaved off for the ultrasound. Poor little guy, the hair doesn't even get all grown back when it's time to shave it all off again.

I'll be sure to post about him again after his surgery next Monday. Please remember him in your prayers.